Rosenberg, Alexander 1946-
Rosenberg, Alexander 1946-
Born August 31, 1946, in Salzburg, Austria; immigrated to the United States, 1949, naturalized citizen, 1955; son of Samuel T. (a physician) and Blanca (a university professor) Rosenberg; married Merle Kurzrock (a biologist), December 21, 1969; children: Eugene K., Adrianne K. Education: City College of the City University of New York, B.A., 1967; Johns Hopkins University, Ph.D., 1971. Hobbies and other interests: Rock climbing, running, history.
Office—Department of Philosophy, Center for Philosophy of Biology, Duke University, 201 W. Duke Bldg., Durham, NC 27708; fax: 919-660-3060. E-mail—[email protected]
Philosopher, educator, and writer. Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Killiam fellow, 1971-72, assistant professor of philosophy, 1972-76; Syracuse University, Syracuse, NY, associate professor, 1976-81, professor of philosophy and social science, 1981-86; University of California, Riverside, professor of philosophy, 1986-95, philosophy department chair, 1989-92; University of Georgia, Athens, GA, professor of philosophy and director of honors program, 1995-2000; Duke University, Durham, NC, professor of philosophy, 2000-03, R. Taylor Cole Professor of Philosophy, 2003—, and codirector of the Center for Philosophy of Biology, 2000—. Visiting professor at University of Minnesota—Twin Cities, 1975, and University of California, Santa Cruz, 1978-79; visiting lecturer at Oxford University, 1994-95.
American Philosophical Association, American Association for the Advancement of Science, Philosophy of Science Association, Phi Beta Kappa (president of Kappa chapter, 1982-83).
Fellow of American Council of Learned Societies, 1981-82; Guggenheim fellow, 1982; fellow of National Science Foundation, 1984 and 1989; Lakatos award in philosophy of science, 1993. Grants from the Department of Education, 1988, National Science Foundation, 1989, and National Endowment for the Humanities, 1991; Romanell-Phi Beta Kappa Professorship in Philosophy, 2006-07.
Microeconomic Laws: A Philosophical Analysis, University of Pittsburgh Press (Pittsburgh, PA), 1976.
Sociobiology and the Preemption of Social Science, Johns Hopkins University Press (Baltimore, MD), 1980.
(Translator from the French) G.G. Granger, Formal Thought and the Sciences of Man, D. Reidel (Boston, MA), 1984.
Philosophy of Social Science, Westview Press (Boulder, CO), 1988, 3rd edition, 2008.
Economics: Mathematical Politics or Science of Diminishing Returns?, University of Chicago Press (Chicago, IL), 1992.
Instrumental Biology; or, The Disunity of Science, University of Chicago Press (Chicago, IL), 1994.
Philosophy of Science: A Contemporary Introduction, Routledge (New York, NY), 2000, 2nd edition, 2005.
Darwinism in Philosophy, Social Science, and Policy, Cambridge University Press (New York, NY), 2000.
(Editor) Philosophy of Science: Contemporary Readings, Routledge (New York, NY), 2001.
Darwinian Reductionism; or, How to Stop Worrying and Love Molecular Biology, University of Chicago Press (Chicago, IL), 2006.
(With Daniel W. McShea) Philosophy of Biology: A Contemporary Introduction, Routledge (New York, NY), 2008.
Contributor to anthologies, including Contemporary Readings in the Philosophy of Science, Routledge (New York, NY), 2002, and Readings in the Philosophy of Biology, Blackwell's, 2008. Contributor to periodicals. Member of editorial board, American Philosophical Quarterly, Behavior and Philosophy, Economics and Philosophy, Philosophy of Science, and Philosophy of the Social Sciences.
Alexander Rosenberg is a philosopher, educator, and writer whose primary interests include metaphysics, the philosophy of social sciences with an emphasis on economics, and the philosophy of biology, particularly the relationship among molecular, functional, and evolutionary biology. He has written numerous papers and books on these topics. In his book Economics: Mathematical Politics or Science of Diminishing Returns?, the author examines the scientific status of economics, noting that modern-day economists cannot predict the likely outcome of specific events any better than economists could two centuries ago. Noting that the defining characteristic of a science is the ability to create more precise forecasts based on an evaluation of the success of earlier predictions, the author presents his belief that economics is unable to do this and, as a result, should not be considered a science. "In the book he considers the work of a number of economic methodologists, usually coming to the conclusion that while they have a piece of the truth, they have it confused or twisted, though sometimes he argues that they have it downright wrong," wrote David C. Colander in the Southern Economics Journal. In a review in the Journal of Economic Issues, Nancy J. Wulwick commented: "Rosenberg's argument is an excellent statement of the failures of the epistemological position of methodological individualism."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
American Spectator, December, 1995, review of Economics: Mathematical Politics or Science of Diminishing Returns?, p. 38.
BioScience, December, 1986, Holmes III Rolston, review of The Structure of Biological Science, p. 746.
Choice, January, 2001, R.F. White, review of Darwinism in Philosophy, Social Science, and Policy, p. 919.
Ethics, July, 1982, Steven Walt, review of Hume and the Problem of Causation, p. 804; April, 1983, Arthur L. Caplan, review of Sociobiology and the Preemption of Social Science, p. 603; July, 1986, David L. Hull, review of The Structure of Biological Science, p. 899; April, 1994, Alan C. Nelson, review of Economics, p. 637; July, 2005, David B. Resnik, review of Darwinism in Philosophy, Social Science, and Policy, p. 843.
Evolution, November, 2007, "The Hedgehog, the Fox, and Reductionism in Biology," p. 2736.
Isis, December, 1993, Donald N. McCloskey, review of Economics, p. 838.
Journal of Economic Issues, December, 1990, Raphael Sassower, review of Philosophy of Social Science, p. 1172; March, 1994, Nancy J. Wulwick, review of Economics, p. 291.
Journal of Economic Literature, June, 1989, review of Philosophy of Social Science, p. 673; March, 1993, review of Economics, p. 295; June, 1993, D. Wade Hands, review of Economics, p. 888; June, 1996, review of Philosophy of Social Science, 2nd edition, p. 834.
Journal of Political Economy, June, 1996, Arthur M. Diamond, review of Economics, p. 655.
Journal of Third World Studies, spring, 1995, L.D. Keita, review of Economics, p. 471.
Nature, January 7, 1993, John L. Casti, review of Economics, p. 29; January 19, 1995, review of Economics, p. 208.
Philosophical Quarterly, January, 1997, Michael Ruse, review of Instrumental Biology; or, The Disunity of Science, p. 120.
Philosophy of Science, December, 1991, "On the Testability of Psychological Generalizations," p. 586; June, 1994, Harold Kincaid, review of Economics, p. 315; March, 1996, Bradley E. Wilson, review of Instrumental Biology, p. 139.
Philosophy of the Social Sciences, June, 1991, review of Philosophy of Social Science, p. 290.
Quarterly Review of Biology, March, 1997, Michael Arthur Simon, review of Instrumental Biology, p. 61; December, 2001, Jennifer Nerissa Davis, review of Darwinism in Philosophy, Social Science, and Policy, p. 477.
Reference & Research Book News, February, 1993, review of Economics, p. 14.
Southern Economic Journal, January, 1994, David C. Colander, review of Economics, p. 767.
Times Literary Supplement, June 30, 1989, David Papineau, review of Philosophy of Social Science, p. 724.
Duke University Office of News & Communications Web site,http://www.dukenews.duke.edu/ (March 2, 2006), "Alexander Rosenberg Wins Philosophy Honor."
Duke University Web site,http://www.duke.edu/ (February 21, 2008), faculty profile of author.